Dr. Anderson completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Science and a Minor in Music at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX and then went on to earn both her OD and PhD at the University of Houston College of Optometry. She is the co-coursemaster of clinic practicum I & II and conducts research related to the visual system of children with and without special needs. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, was a two time recipient of the American Optometric Foundation Ezell Fellowship, and received the University of Houston Excellence in Teaching Group Teaching Award in 2015.
Accommodative and visual function in children and individuals with Down syndrome
Dr. Applegate joined the University of Texas Health Science Center faculty in 1988 from the School of Optometry University of Missouri – St. Louis where he served as an assistant professor of optometry. He rose through the faculty ranks quickly to become a tenured professor of ophthalmology in 1993. In 2002 Dr. Applegate accepted the College of Optometry, at the University of Houston’s offer to become the first Borish Chair in Optometry. He has served as a feature editor of Journal of the Optical Society of America –A, Applied Optics, and Optometry and Vision Science on several occasions. Dr. Applegate has served on the editorial board of the journal of Optometry and Visual Science and currently serves on editorial board of the Journal of Refractive Surgery, the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, and Clinical and Experimental Optometry. He is a cofounder of the International Congress on Wavefront Sensing and Aberration-Free Refraction Correction, is widely published in leading journals, consultant, and international lecturer whose NIH funded research interests center on the optics of the eye and early ocular disease detection, treatment, and prevention.
Visual optics, ocular aberrations, cataract, refractive surgery, early disease detection.
I, Dr. Baskar Arumugam received BSc in Optometry at Bausch & Lomb School of Optometry and a Fellowship in Clinical Optometry (Resident) at the L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), Hyderabad, India. I subsequently went on complete my Ph.D with Prof. Neville McBrien’s lab at the University of Melbourne, Australia. In 2012, I joined University of Houston College of Optometry to take up post-doctoral research training to define the optical performance properties of the vision-dependent mechanisms that regulate ocular growth in rhesus monkeys. My current research interest is to develop effective optical and pharmacological treatment strategies to reduce or inhibit myopia progression in children.
I received a best outgoing optometry resident award from LVPEI and secured a Young Investigator Award at the 14th International Myopia Conference (IMC) that was held at California, USA. I am a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO) and member of other vision science community such as The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and Optometry Council of India (OCI).
Our lab research is emphases on investigating the operational properties of the vision-dependent mechanisms that regular refractive development, determine the extent to which vision influences eye growth and developing a various treatment strategies. My work particularly involves the investigation of the early signaling (for e.g., ultrastructural) changes with in the inner and outer layers of the eye, which occur during the normal ocular development, and following the anti-myopia treatments such as specially designed optical lenses and pharmaceutical agents.
Dr. Jan P.G. Bergmanson received his optometric training and PhD at the City University, London. In addition, he obtained a Doctor of Optometry degree from Pennsylvania College of Optometry. Currently, Dr. Bergmanson is Professor of Optometry at the University of Houston College of Optometry (UHCO), where he is the founding Director of the Texas Eye Research and Technology Center (TERTC). He has extensively researched and lectured internationally on subjects of corneal morphological response to contact lens wear, tear and ophthalmic solution effects on the ocular surface, histopathology of ocular tissues damaged by ultraviolet radiation, and the effects of the Excimer Laser on the cornea. In addition to private optometric practice, Dr. Bergmanson, certified in Texas as a Therapeutic Optometrist and as an Optometric Glaucoma Specialist, has provided patient care in several hospital and university clinics. Dr. Bergmanson is a Foundation Fellow of the College of Optometry in United Kingdom, where he remains licensed to practice, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, where he is a Diplomate in the Cornea and Contact Lens Section. He is a member of the Texas Optometric Association (TOA), American Optometric Association (AOA), Association of Contact Lens Educators, and International Association of Contact Lens Educators. He is a council member of the International Society for Contact Lens Research and a lifetime honorary member of the Swedish and Dutch Optometric Associations, to which he also serves as a consultant. Dr. Bergmanson is the recipient of the 1998 British Contact Lens Association Gold Medal Award, the 2002 Texas Optometric Association's Educator of the Year Award, the University of Houston College of Optometry 2003 Cora and J. Davis Armistead Faculty Teaching Award and the 2005 Swedish Optometric Association's Mark of Honor Award.
Research interests include Clinical Trials on new contact lens designs and material and ophthalmic effects on the ocular surface. Over many years, Dr. Bergmanson has maintained a research program on ultraviolet radiation effects on the eye and aidnexa and how to protect these tissues from such harmful irradiation. He is an active researcher in the area of the anatomy of the eye, while maintaining an interest in ocular histopathology. Current research in ocular pathology concerns in particular keratoconus and pterygium.
Dr. Bergmanson is a Diplomate in Cornea and Contact Lenses (American Academy of Optometry). Main clinical interest concerns advanced contact lens care and the diagnosis in treatment of ocular surface disease.
David A. Berntsen, OD, PhD, FAAO completed his Doctor of Optometry degree in 2002 at the University of Houston College of Optometry in Houston, TX. He then completed a Cornea and Contact Lens Advanced Practice Fellowship at The Ohio State University College of Optometry in Columbus, OH. The fellowship program combined a two-year residency with a Master of Science degree in Vision Science, which Dr. Berntsen completed in 2004. He then completed a PhD in Vision Science at Ohio State in 2009.
Dr. Berntsen's research interests include myopia, contact lenses, and aberrations of the eye. He conducted the Study of Theories about Myopia Progression (STAMP), a two-year clinical trial evaluating theories of juvenile-onset myopia progression. He has conducted adult and pediatric studies involving contact lenses and higher-order aberrations of the eye. Dr. Berntsen is the Principal Investigator of the University of Houston clinical site for the Bifocal Lenses In Nearsighted Kids (BLINK) Study, a multicenter randomized clinical trial sponsored by the National Eye Institute. The BLINK Study is a collaborative effort between the University of Houston and The Ohio State University that will determine whether commercially available soft bifocal contact lenses slow the progression of nearsightedness in children.
Injury to the corneal epithelium can occur through mechanical or chemical trauma, as well as through elective refractive surgeries (e.g., LASIK or PRK). Despite our current understanding that neutrophil recruitment to the injured cornea can be important for wound healing, many questions remain regarding the molecular mechanisms regulating neutrophil migration within the corneal stroma. Our research suggests neutrophil migration is influenced by molecular interactions with keratocyte (stromal cell) networks embedded between the stromal collagen lamellae. The hypothesis being evaluated is that PMN motility on keratocytes is regulated by inflammatory mediators (chemokines) and adhesion molecule-dependent interactions. Information gained from these studies will help delineate novel adhesive mechanisms underlying neutrophil migration in the injured cornea and this may define new targets for therapeutic treatment of ocular inflammation associated with injury or infection.
Dr. Cheng earned both her PhD and OD degrees from the University of Houston, College of Optometry. After graduation, she became an associate in a private practice at Sugarland, Texas. She joined the MacGregor Medical Association in 1999 and practiced optometry there until she became a faculty member at the UH College of Optometry in 2002.
Noninvasive functional and structural evaluation of the visual pathways under normal and pathological conditions.
Primary care, contact lenses, occupational color vision, multifocal visual evoked potential (mfVEP), multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG)
Yuzo Chino, Ph.D. is Professor of Vision Sciences in the College of Optometry at the University of Houston. Dr. Chino joined the College of Optometry in 1988, and prior to that, was a faculty member at the Illinois College of Optometry following completion of his Ph.D. in 1973. His research interest is centered around the visual system development and plasticity in the visual brain and the effects of abnormal visual experience on the postnatal development of binocular functions. An internationally-recognized vision scientist, Dr. Chino has received continuous support from the National Eye Institute since 1975 for his work entitled ""Amblyopia."" After moving to the United States in 1965, he completed a BS degree at St. Norbert College in DePere, Wisconsin. In 1973, he obtained a Ph.D. from Syracuse University in Syracuse New York. A current member of the research Council of the University of Houston, Dr. Chino's articles and papers frequently appear in leading scientific journals. In addition to his research, Dr. Chino continues to teach and mentor candidates in UHCO's Graduate program in addition to teaching Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology to first-year optometry students.
Dr. Coates received his PhD in Vision Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015, where he studied letter recognition, peripheral visual perception, and crowding, using psychophysics and computational modeling. After postdoctoral appointments in Belgium and Switzerland studying the relationships between crowding, attention, and appearance, he joined the faculty of UHCO in 2017.
His research and teaching interests include spatial vision, color vision, reading, and statistical and psychophysical methods. He is passionate about the use of open source tools for experimentation, analysis, and learning.
spatial vision, color vision, reading, and statistical and psychophysical methods.
My research involves primarily the study of glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans in the fields of cornea, cancer, wound healing, stem cells, inflammation, development, spinal cord injury and nerve regeneration. This unique interdisciplinary approach aims to decipher the role of glycosaminoglycans in development and pathology. One of our ongoing projects is to unveil the role of hyaluronan (HA) in ocular surface development and pathology using knockout approaches. We have previously shown that umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells synthesize a rich extracellular HA modified glycocalyx that regulates inflammatory cells enabling these cells to survive xenograft rejection. We are currently developing umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells and their hyaluronan rich glycocalyx for treating inflammatory disorders.
I received my undergraduate degree from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India in 1992 majoring in Electronics Engineering. I then moved to the United States for graduate studies and completed a M.S and Ph.D. degree in 1998 in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. My work, carried out under the mentorship of Dr. John Leigh, primarily examined the interactions between visual-oculomotor and vestibular systems. I did post-doctoral work at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University with Dr. Michael Mustari from 1999 to 2002. During this time I learnt the technique of single cell extracellular recording in the awake-behaving monkey and also became interested in examining visual-oculomotor mechanisms in the strabismic primate. I was appointed to the faculty at Emory University in 2002 and received an independent investigator award from the National Institutes of Health in 2004 to study neural circuits mediating binocular coordination of eye movements in the strabismic monkey. I have since maintained continued NIH funding. I joined the faculty of the College of Optometry, University of Houston in 2009. The goal of research in my laboratory is to continue to uncover the disruption of neural processing in various brain areas in the strabismic monkeys. A better understanding of neural mechanisms that are affected in the different forms of strabismus will help develop rationally based therapy.
The focus of research in my laboratory is to investigate disruption of eye movement control in animal models for strabismus (ocular misalignment). Strabismus is a common visual developmental disorder affecting 2?5% of all human infants. Though the exact etiology of strabismus is still unknown, it is clear that disruption of binocular visual information in infancy plays a critical role in development of strabismus. Many seminal behavioral, anatomical and physiological studies have revealed various aspects of visual sensory deficits that are associated with the strabismic condition. By the same token, we know relatively little about disruptions in neural oculomotor (eye movement) circuits, though these structures must also be involved in maintaining the steady-state strabismus. The possible involvement of such structures ranges from altered eye muscle lengths to neural mechanisms that alter eye muscle tone or contractility. Our research is therefore directed towards identifying and understanding the roles of specific areas in the brain that may be involved in producing oculomotor properties describing the strabismus state. Our strategy is to utilize a basic science approach with studies in animal models, incorporating concepts, tools and techniques developed via basic science studies of the oculomotor system. To this end, we use a multi-pronged strategy involving behavioral studies of eye alignment, eye movements and ocular accommodation, MRI studies evaluating extraocular muscle (EOM) structure and single cell recording studies of information processing in neural oculomotor circuits.
Karen Fern received her Doctor of Optometry from Pacific University College of Optometry and completed a residency in pediatric optometry at the University of Houston College of Optometry. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Optometry and a member of the American Optometric Association and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Dr. Fern's teaching includes the areas of pediatric optometry and binocular vision and involves both classroom and clinical attending. She serves as Director of Residency Programs and Director of the Pediatric and Binocular Vision Service. Dr. Fern's research interests include vision development, binocular vision, myopia, and quality of life instruments. She was the recipient of the American Academy of Optometry Garland Clay in 1987 recognizing her outstanding publication in the Journal of Optometry and Physiological Optics.
Phase II of the COMET study, an investigation into the natural history and cessation of myopia, and several Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator (PEDIG) studies involving amblyopia and natural history of exotropia.
Pediatric optometry, binocular vision, children with special needs
Dr. Frishman received her undergraduate degree from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie N.Y. and her MS and PhD in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She did postdoctoral training in visual neuroscience at Northwestern University and the University of California San Francisco where she also was a research faculty member. She joined the Optometry faculty in the College of Optometry in 1990, and she has taught in both the professional and graduate programs. Her research has focused on refining noninvasive electrophysiological approaches for evaluating retinal and anterior visual pathway function in normal subjects and subjects with inherited or acquired diseases that affect visual function.
Dr. Frishman is on the editorial board of Translational Vision Science and Technology (TVST) an academic editor for Plos One, and she was Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Visual Neuroscience (2001-2007), and Documenta Ophthalmologica (2006-2013). She has served on federal grant review panels, the NIH/NEI National Advisory Eye Council, and she is a fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (FARVO), American Academy of Optometry (FAAO) and a board member of the International Society for the Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision (ISCEV).
Retinal physiology, noninvasive evaluation of visual function, analysis and modeling of components of the electroretinogram (ERG), clinical ERG, glaucoma and disease affecting the optic nerve, study of retinal mechanisms of adaptation.
Complete List of Published Work in My Bibliography:
Dr. Wendy Harrison completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at the University of Notre Dame and went on to be the first student to complete a joint OD and MS in Vision Science at Indiana University in four years. Following a residency in Cornea and Contact Lenses, also at Indiana, she completed PhD in Vision Science at the University of California Berkeley. Her research focuses on diabetic eye diseases. She is a member of ARVO, and a fellow in the American Academy of Optometry. Within the academy she is involved in the leadership of the Fellows Doing Research Special Interest Group and the American Academy of Optometry Foundation.
The goal of our research lab is to better understand what happens in the eye in patients with diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of preventable vision loss in working aged Americans. It affects both blood vessels and nerves in the retina as well as the front of the eye. We evaluate retinal nerve function with a multifocal electroretinogram and nerve and vascular structural changes with an OCT and retinal photographs. We hope to understand the timeline of changes to structure and function as the disease progresses. We also hope to learn how gender, diet, and health differences play into vision loss in these patients.
Ronald S. Harwerth, OD, PhD, is the John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Optometry at the University of Houston, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1970. Prior to joining the UHCO faculty, Dr. Harwerth received his training in optometry at the University of Houston and his graduate research training at the University of Texas Houston, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. His research involves behavioral studies of monkeys with experimentally induced vision or ocular disorders that model common clinical conditions of humans. His current projects involve investigations of relationships between neural losses and visual defects caused by glaucoma. Dr. Harwerth has maintained research from the National Eye Institute for 28 years and Alcon Research, Ltd. for 16 years. The results of his studies have produced over 130 publications. His active memberships include the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the International Perimetry Society, the American Academy of Optometry and the Optometric Glaucoma Society. Among his honors are the Glenn A. Fry Award and the Garland W. Clay Award from the American Academy of Optometry, an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the State University of New York, an Alumnus of the Year of the University of Houston, College of Optometry, the International Glaucoma Review Research Award, and the UHCO Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award.
Normal and abnormal binocular vision, structure-function relationships in glaucoma, perimetry, experimental glaucoma in monkeys, animal psychophysics,
Li-Fang Hung, B.Med.., Ph.D., O.D. Research Scientist E-MAIL: Lhung2@uh.edu PHONE: (713)743-2038 Bio Dr. Hung received his B.Medicine degree from Chung-Shan Medical and Dental College in Taiwan. In addition, Dr. Hung received his PhD and OD degree from the University of Houston, College of Optometry. Before he came to Houston, he had two years OBGYN clinical experience in military service, four years residency training in ophthalmology at National Taiwan University Hospital in Taiwan, and two years post-doctoral training in infectious diseases in the Department of Medicine at Stanford University, CA. He is currently working with Dr. Earl Smith OD, PhD as a research scientist on experiments that investigate visual/environmental influences on the development of refractive errors in monkeys. Research Interests Emmetropization and myopia Clinical Interests All eye diseases and vision problems Publications Please see C. V.
Dr. Manny received her OD and PhD from the University of Houston, College of Optometry. She has been teaching in the clinic and classroom since 1981. Prior to earning her PhD she worked part-time in a private practice. Her clinical expertise is pediatric eye care with an emphasis on children under the age of 6 years and those with special needs. As a clinician scientist she has served as the principal investigator for a variety of multi-center clinical studies funded by the National Eye Institute as well as industry. These studies included clinical trials looking at the development, progression and treatment strategies for nearsightedness (myopia) (COMET, COMET2, ACHIEVE, CLIP), large collaborative observational studies of myopia (CLEERE, COSMICC), and collaborations with the Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator network (PEDIG) studying different treatment options for amblyopia and strabismus. Other research interests include improving screening methods used to identify infants and preschool children with vision problems or at risk for vision problems. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, and serving as a Vice chair of PEDIG (2014-2016).
Development of Vision, Anomalies of Binocular Vision, Refractive Error, and Vision Screening
Infants and Preschool Children, Children with Special Needs
Dr. Marsack completed a BS in Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University, a MS in Biomedical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and a PhD in Physiological Optics and Vision Science at The University of Houston, College of Optometry. Currently, he conducts research investigating the optical and visual performance associated with custom corrections for highly aberrated optics of the eye. He was a two-time recipient of the American Optometric Foundation Ezell Fellowship.
Optical aberration of the eye, custom and pseudo-custom correction of optical aberration, visual performance, metrics predictive of visual performance.
Bruce E. Onofrey, OD, RPh is a 1982 graduate of the Illinois College of Optometry and residency at the Albuquerque Veterans Administration Medical Center. He also has degrees in chemistry and Pharmacy. He recently retired from the Lovelace Medical Center Eye Dept after 25 years where he served as the Chief of Optometry and Vice-chairman of eye services. His most current position is as a clinical professor at the University of Houston and the Exec. Director of continuing education programs. His special interests include lectures in general and ocular pharmacology and clinical drug research.
Dr. Onofrey is a frequent contributor to ophthalmic literature. He is the current editor of ""Clinical Optometric Pharmacology and Therapeutics"", and the author of “The Ocular Therapeutics Handbook-A Clinical Manual”, both published by Lippincott. He also serves as a contributing editor to “Primary Care Optometry News"". He is an internationally recognized lecturer on the management of ocular disease and the use of pharmaceutical agents.
Lisa Ostrin received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin. She then completed the combined OD/PhD program at the University of Houston College of Optometry in 2006. Following graduate work focused in accommodative physiology, she went to John Hopkins University for post-doctoral research in low vision and retinal prosthetics. From there, she worked as a Clinician Researcher at the University of California Berkeley School of Optometry, with a focus on myopia and associations with glaucoma. She has returned to the University of Houston as an Assistant Research Professor to continue her work in myopia and glaucoma. Dr. Ostrin is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a recipient of the American Optometric Foundation Ezell Fellowship.
My research interests include environmental and behavioral influences on circadian rhythm and eye growth. Light exposure has a close link with numerous aspects of human physiology and has been implicated in several different pathological processes including myopia development, circadian rhythm disturbances, mood disorders, cancer, and metabolic disorders. The intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) are an inner retinal photoreceptor type that respond directly to short wavelength blue light, and are responsible for non-image forming functions including circadian rhythm entrainment and pupil size. Ongoing projects in the lab include 1) measuring and correlating light exposure with ipRGC activity, circadian rhythm patterns, melatonin levels and refractive error, 2) determining the effects of blue light emitting devices (computers and hand held electronic devices) on ipRGC function and sleep/wake patterns, and 3) developing devices to continuously and objectively measure behaviors related to eye growth.
Dr. Deborah Otteson joined the faculty of the College of Optometry at the University of Houston in September 2005. Prior to joining the UHCO faculty, Dr. Otteson received her Bachelors of Science degree in Microbiology and Public Health from Michigan State University and spent the following years studying patterning during embryonic development in Drosophila. In 1994, she returned to pursue a PhD at the University Michigan in Cell, Developmental and Neural Biology, working with Dr. Peter Hitchcock studying retinal development and regeneration at the Kellogg Eye Center. She did her post-doctoral training in molecular ophthalmology with Dr. Donald Zack at the Wilmer Eye Institute of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, studying transcriptional regulation of photoreceptor-specific gene expression.
The overall goal of my research is to understand the transcriptional regulatory networks that regulate cell-specific patterns of gene expression in retinal development, differentiation and degenerative retinal disease. Current research focuses on identifying transcription factors that regulate ganglion cell-specific gene expression, analyzing the effects of transcriptional regulatory genes on proliferation and differentiation of retinal cells in culture and establishing retinal cell lines for the development of high throughput assays.
Dr. Perrigin received her BS degree from Delta State University and completed her hospital training in medical technology at the University of Texas M.D.Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute. She earned her OD degree from the University of Houston where she currently serves as Professor of Optometry. Her areas of teaching and research include contact lenses, medical laboratory testing, ocular microbiology, and management of myopia. Additionally she is in private practice and is also an investigator with Texas Eye Research and Technology Center, frequently participating in clinical trials.
Primary care optometry and cornea and contact lenses
Marcus G. Piccolo, O.D. received his optometric training in Philadelphia, where he attended the Pennsylvania College of Optometry. He moved to Houston in 1980 to join the faculty of the University of Houston College of Optometry. While at the University of Houston, Dr. Piccolo held posts as the Director of the Contact Lens Services, Chief of Primary Care Services, Coordinator of Ophthalmology Services and Chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences. Dr. Piccolo is currently an Associate Professor, and the Associate Dean for Professional Advancement at the University of Houston College of Optometry. He is certified as a Therapeutic Optometrist and an Optometric Glaucoma Specialist and his interests include contact lens practice, diagnosis and management of ocular disease and laser and other refractive procedures. In addition, Dr. Piccolo is a Past President of the Texas Optometric Association and currently serves as the Chair of the TOA Legal and Legislative Committee. Dr. Piccolo was honored in 1991 by being named the ""Young Optometrist of the Year"" and in 1999 by being named the “Optometrist of the Year” by the Texas Optometric Association. Dr. Piccolo received the William D. Pittman Leadership Award for outstanding leadership and unflagging support for the Optometric Profession and the prestigious Cora and J. Davis Armistead Faculty Teaching Award in 2002 both from the University of Houston College of Optometry. He is also a member of the American Optometric Association, where he is the past Chair of the AOA New Technologies Committee and a sitting member of the Federal Relations Committee. He is a Fellow in the American Academy of Optometry and is a Past President of the South West Council of Optometrists. Dr. Piccolo currently sits on the American Medical Association Eye Care Work Group, which is responsible for developing quality standards for eye care providers in the US. In addition to his academic pursuits, Dr. Piccolo maintains a private practice in Houston, Texas.
Clinical interests include the care of the Glaucoma Patient, Anterior Segment Disease and Primary Care Optometry including Contact Lens Care and Refractive Surgery.
Visual quality is limited by a host of factors, including imperfections (or aberrations) in the optics of the eye and the health of various cell types in the retina used to detect light and process this information for subsequent delivery to the brain. Using psychophysical, optical and functional imaging techniques, my primary goal is to better understand how the eye's optics and structure of the retina and optic nerve head affect vision in normal and diseased eyes. After completing my BS degree in Optics from the University of Rochester in 1997, I continued my graduate work in Optics at the University of Rochester's Institute of Optics under the advisement of David Williams. My graduate research focused on constructing a clinical wavefront sensor to measure the optical quality of a large population of normal and postoperative laser refractive surgery eyes, and on investigating the sources of aberrations induced in conventional and customized LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis) procedures. In collaboration with Ian Cox (Bausch & Lomb) and Scott MacRae (University of Rochester), I examined changes in the eye’s optical quality after cutting a corneal flap and after performing a laser ablation, how aberrations were induced due to static shifts of the pupil (such as changes in pupil center location with dilation), and characterized dynamic eye movements that occur during surgery. I also assisted in the design of the Rochester Adaptive Optics Ophthalmoscope, an instrument capable of both imaging individual photoreceptors and of conducting visual psychophysics in living human eyes.
Upon receiving my PhD in Optics in 2004, I conducted my postdoctoral work with David Williams at the Center for Visual Science (University of Rochester) in the area of high-resolution retinal imaging using adaptive optics. Adaptive optics is a relatively new technology that can measure and correct for the eye’s aberrations, leading to substantial improvements in image quality when a subject looks through an adaptive optics system. Conversely, the same instrument can provide an extremely sharp view of a subject’s retina with the capability of imaging individual cells in a living eye. As a postdoc, I contributed to the construction of a fluorescence adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope (AOSLO) that can noninvasively acquire in vivo reflectance and fluorescence images of individual photoreceptors, ganglion cells and retinal pigment epithelium cells. In September 2006, I joined the faculty at the University of Houston’s College of Optometry.
Our lab’s main goals are to learn more about the mechanisms responsible for the development and progression of retinal diseases (such as glaucoma and photoreceptor-based degenerations) and how the retina develops in the normal eye. To this end, we have built a dual deformable mirror, fluorescence AOSLO to image single cells in living eyes, thereby allowing us to conduct experiments that could only otherwise have been done in excised tissue. These experiments are often complimented with the use of other clinical and research-based imaging techniques (such as spectral domain optical coherence tomography) and visual function examinations (including perimetry, electroretinography, etc.) to investigate structure-function relationships. Several projects in the lab revolve around imaging retinal and optic nerve head structures in normal and glaucomatous eyes, as well as in eyes with color vision deficiencies and retinal disease. For example, through our currently funded NIH R01 grant , we seek to better understand the relation between in vivo changes in lamina cribrosa and optic nerve head geometry, axonal damage and vision loss in glaucoma. We also conduct engineering research, often to help facilitate our scientific goals, in areas such as optimal methods for controlling deformable mirrors and non-traditional methods of wavefront sensing and adaptive optics correction. Our AOSLO provides the opportunity to non-invasively monitor normal and diseased retinal structure and function on a cellular level in the same eyes over time. The ability to see cellular structures in vivo could enhance our ability to better diagnose retinal diseases and track the efficacy of potential treatments.
Dr. Raghunathan received his first degree in Biomedical Engineering from Visvesvaraya Technological University, India, and subsequently his M.Sc and Ph.D in Bioengineering from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Bristol, UK investigating the safety of tribological wear released from orthopaedic implants. He then made his foray into vision science by completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California Davis, jointly in Drs. Chris Murphy and Paul Russell’s laboratories, investigating the principles underlying the mechanobiology of the trabecular meshwork and cornea.
The primary goals of my research program are: (a) to understand the role that extracellular matrix play in ocular diseases, (b) to develop and utilize engineering tools in studying biomechanics and surface phenomena at the ocular surface interface, and (c) to use materials based strategies for development and delivery of therapeutics.
Rachel Redfern received her bachelor's degree in biology from Texas A&M University and then her OD/PhD from the University of Houston, College of Optometry. In 2006, Dr. Redfern received the Institutional Ruth Kirschstein National Research Post-doctorate Award and the ARVO/Alcon Early Career Clinician-Scientist Research Award. Dr. Redfern is a member of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the American Academy of Optometry and the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society. She is also a past William C. Ezell Fellow.
Her laboratory is interested in ocular surface inflammation/infection, the impact of contact lenses (e.g. scleral gas permeable lenses) on normal and diseased eyes and the functional and anatomical changes that occurs in the meibomian glands with age and disease. They perform human subject, animal and in vitro studies. Dr. Redfern’s laboratory is NIH funded to examine the impact of toll-like receptors on the production of damaging cytokines and matrix metalloproteases and beneficial antimicrobial peptides on the ocular surface.
Dr. Reins received her bachelor's degree in biology from Baylor University and then did graduate work in Immunology at Boston University before receiving for Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Houston. She has over 12 years' experience in ocular surface research, with a focus on vitamin D's function in the cornea, particularly during inflammation, corneal wound healing, and innate immune defense. Dr. Reins is a member of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the American Academy of Optometry, the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society, and also is a two-time William C. Ezell Fellow.
Vitamin D is a natural, multifunctional hormone that is known to play a significant role in immune system regulation, protecting against chronic inflammation. Increasing evidence shows that vitamin D plays a protective role in maintaining eye health. However, its function, bioavailability, and immunomodulatory capacity at the ocular surface need to be investigated. The goal of my research is to determine the efficacy of vitamin D as an anti-inflammatory agent for the treatment of inflammatory eye conditions, such as dry eye, and to characterize vitamin D’s bioavailability and function at the ocular surface and in the tear film.